The basic premise of whistle blowing is to report instances and activities of corruption and, wrongdoing done by an organization with regards to the policy implementation and operational aspects that seem illegal and unethical.
The person reporting the illegal and unethical activities, be it a current or an ex employee, are referred to as a whistle blower, in view of big corporations involved the instances of whistle blowing had been minimal, because the retaliation of the whistle blower is often vehement and vicious in order to protect the hierarchy of a particular company that is involved in the whistle blowing scandal.
In view of the aforementioned, there are numerous federal and state laws for whistle blowers; one act that is at the forefront of whistle blowing is the Sarbanes-Oxley act that differs due to it covering the private employees who raise concerns.
The key characteristics of a whistle blower are in essence based on their motivation; the motivations are less about the psychology of the individual and more so about the extent of the situation that is reported (Meredith, Melnick., 2014).
They have strong personalities and belief system and are sincere to their rationale of whistle blowing. They are people with integrity and can face pressure since the after effects are taxing from an emotional and physical perspective.
The case of JC Penny is a case in point where the whistle blower a former part time employee named Robert Blatchford, has filed a claim against the company under the Florida’s Private Whistleblower Act filed a claim that after intimating the manager and company regarding the store’s unethical charging policies for sales items that were charged in full and also collecting tax on nontaxable items (Jennifer, Reingold, 2015).
The case refers to the characteristics of a whistle blower aptly that despite being a part time employee an unethical activity that he witnessed was reported to the concerned authorities and in the case he was retaliated against by the manager and then the company.
The impact of the case though starting in 2013, left its impact since it was dragged till last year to settle the issue, Mr. Blatchford was not satisfied with systematic responses and thus went public and was in turn sued by JC Penny for theft of trade secret, however the case was dropped in 2014 with the company losing face and reputation in the aforementioned case.
The actions taken by Mr. Blatchford was the correct response as he witnessed a highly unethical activity at one of the biggest retailer in the world and reported it diligently to the management, in this case as high as the to both then CEO Johnson and Dan Walker the head of human resources at that time and was promised an investigation (Rachel L. Ensign, 2015).
However, the writer fully supports the action of taking the information public when necessary steps were not taken by the highest authorizes at the company.
Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, by Mr. Blatchford would have been protected under the provision that JC Penny were not able to satisfy the incumbent in a convincing and clear manner with regards to the issue at hand and thus the theft charges would have been thrown out by the court.
Since Mr. Blatchford raised concerns and was terminated when he went public with the information the Act would have been taken into account the scenario from every perspective.
A whistle blower needs to be protected under the act in a judicious manner; however, it needs to take into account the claims authenticity to be able to limit the damage to the company also if the claims were made up just to damage the reputation.
Jennifer, Reingold (2015, March 23. Exclusive: Whistleblower files claim against JC Penney). Fortune. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/03/23/whistleblower-suit-jcpenney/
Meredith, Melnick. (2014, July 10). What Motivates A Whistleblower?. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/07/psychology-whistleblower_n_5889630.html
Rachel L. Ensign (2015, Jan 23). Big Whistleblower Predictions for 2015. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2015/01/23/the-big-whistleblower-predictions-for-2015/